Millman: How to Enter the 11th Annual ‘Get Your Super Bowl Prop Up in Vegas’ Contest
Manny Hernandez/Getty Images. Pictured: DeLorean from “Back to the Future”
This past winter vacation, my family and I were in Southern California. It was miserable weather, everyday we layered on everything we had packed and tried to find a way to enjoy the outdoors, even though it was warmer on the east coast than it was in Laguna Beach.
However, for one day, the sun peeked out and the temperature hovered near 60, at least it did so before noon, as long as you weren’t in the shade. And on that glorious day we were lucky enough to have tickets for Universal Studios (by 3 p.m. it was so cold my wife had to buy an extra pair of socks and a Jurassic Park blanket, for approximately $1 million).
One of the highlights that day: A tour of the backlot at Universal. We saw the Bates Motel from “Psycho” and the shark from “Jaws” and the pond that was converted into the Hudson River, complete with a real airplane, for the Tom Hanks’ movie, “Sully.”
But, every guest on the bus flipped out as we drove through “Anytown, USA” and realized we were in the middle of the “Back to the Future” set. Right in front of us, looking as if it was about to be struck by lightning, was the clock tower. Everyone, no matter the generation, leaned their cameras over the edge of the bus to get something for Insta. I didn’t bother.
All I could think about were Super Bowl props.
And with that I welcome you to the 11th annual Get Your Prop Up in Vegas contest! You send me and Boyd Gaming bookmaker Bob Scucci your most creative ideas and the winner gets his/her prop posted at The Orleans. Real bettors will place real money on this bet.
And we got some doozies last year, including one of my favorites in the 10 years Scooch and I have been doing the contest. Its theme was, wait for it, Back to the Future.
Last year, Super Bowl 53, was a rematch of Super Bowl 36, when the Rams and Patriots first played. In that game, a young Tom Brady began his team’s game-winning drive with 1:21 left in the game. Keith Lentini — an enterprising listener to The Favorites podcast, where we had announced the contest — submitted this: “In the movie Back to the Future, time travel was only possible by generating exactly 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, which came from a bolt of lightning. Since Brady began his first Super Bowl game-winning drive with 1:21 left in the game, the prop is, will lightning strike twice and will Tom Brady begin a first- or second-half scoring drive with 1:21 or less?”
Brilliant! I loved it so much I found myself thinking about it on a family vacation nearly a year later. Scooch loved it, too. Alas, it required too much explanation on the big board at The Orleans. “Also,” Scooch said at the time, “I don’t want to get sued by Robert Zemeckis.”
These contests are always fun, because of the creativity of the submissions and as reminders of what was on everyone’s mind at the time. We tend to see the props center around a few themes each Super Bowl. Last year everyone was focused on the government shutdown, age (Tom Brady’s, Sean McVay’s, Bill Belichick’s) and the performance of both kickers and referees. Don’t forget, this was right after the Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman mugged the Saints receiver Tommy Lee Lewis in the NFC Championship.
In fact, it was the refs and kickers who inspired last year’s winner, David Taylor, of Springfield, Mo. As he told me last year, “I kept seeing referees and kickers in a proposition octagon just squaring off.” The result of this battle was the FG v. Ref prop: What will have a greater total yardage, all made field goals or all accepted penalties?
Taylor thought of the idea in about 15 minutes, and then spent some time researching to make sure his math was right. Based on season averages, he expected the total yards for field goals kicked to be a little north of 100, and the total for penalties accepted to be around 100.
Scooch loved it, because it met all the criteria for what a winning prop needs to get posted by a legal sports book in Nevada. (Yes, there are very specific rules for posting odds in legal sports books. You can’t just make things up willy nilly.)
I’ve listed those below. And, if you think you have what it takes to enter, here’s what you have to do:
1. Email your submission to this address, email@example.com.
2. Get your entry in by 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 26. Again, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Think of a prop that is creative and feels current. For example, 2017 winner Evan Young’s Star Wars prop was: “Will the product of Matt Ryan’s completions and pass attempts be greater than 1,000?” Get it? Millennium=1,000; Matt Ryan is a Falcon.
4. The results need to be verifiable by the NFL’s website. That means, props involving the National Anthem or Gatorade are no good, but if it is something that can be measured on the field, that works. Here’s an example from 2010: “How many Scrabble points will the last name of the first TD scorer be worth?”
Again, the deadline is the afternoon of Sunday, Jan. 26. Scooch and I will choose the winner on Sunday night and announce it on the Super Bowl podcast of The Favorites podcast, on January 28.